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hands on fraction activities for 2nd grade

2nd Grade Fraction Activities: Fun with Fractions

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Looking for fun and engaging ideas for teaching fractions in your 2nd-grade classroom? This post includes tons of ideas for fraction activities for your 2nd-grade classroom!

We came back from Winter Break ready for a new unit in math. After literal months of double-digit addition and subtraction, we (me and my students!) were ready for some new math content. Now, who in their life has ever been excited to learn about fractions? But let me say… we were! My students literally cheered when I pulled out our vocabulary cards for our new unit! LOL! So, today I’m sharing all our fun fraction activities with you! Who knows? Maybe your class will cheer, too? LOL!

hands on fraction activities

Fraction Activities for 2nd Grade

We introduced our fraction unit with the basics- key vocabulary!

fraction posters

These vocabulary posters were the anchor to every lesson in our fraction unit!

Before each lesson, I would pull them out and discuss each vocabulary word, starting with fraction, then partition, numerator, and denominator.

Teacher Tip!

It is normal for kids to struggle with knowing the difference between the numerator and demoninator. Reviewing the key terms each day before our lessons helps to refresh our understanding. Also, I say the demoninator is in charge of the fraction (the number of pieces in the whole)… because it dominates! This really does help!

Books About Fractions

One of my favorite ways to help students better understand any math concept is to use a book to help students make connections.

Listen friend, stories are a powerful tool! Use it to your advantage!

books about fractions for 2nd grade

You can check out some of my favorite fraction books here!

Fraction or Not a Fraction?

After discussing the key terms, it’s time to understand what makes a fraction an actual fraction! We discuss how the pieces need to be equal when partitioning shapes.

I like to relate it to a cookie cake. I draw a circle on the board and cut it into pieces by drawing lines. Then, we discuss how each section is a piece. No one wants the small piece of the cookie cake, while others have a large piece!

fraction and not a fraction sort

Then, we practiced this skill by sorting partitioned shapes into our “Fraction/Not a Fraction” pocketbook.

Fraction Activities for 2nd Grade: Naming Equal Parts

The next day, we discussed how to name the fraction’s parts. On the whiteboard, I draw a few different shapes. Then, I begin to partition each shape into equal parts.

First, I start with halves, then thirds, fourths, and so on. We discuss that the name of the fraction is related to the number of pieces in the whole.

I made this handy-dandy anchor chart to reference as we learn!

From there, we play a whole group game for sorting fractions by the number of parts.

To play, we sit in a circle on the carpet. In the middle, I lay out the fraction name sorting headers. Then, each student gets a fraction piece. Taking turns, we each place our piece onto the correct fraction name.

It’s a quick and easy game that lets me see who understands how to name fraction pieces. I also like that it’s easy to add the game to my math centers for the week because now they know how to play!

Students work to complete this quick and easy cut-and-paste as an independent practice.

Naming Parts of a Whole

Now that we’ve done all the prep work of understanding fractions, it’s time to teach how to name fraction parts of a whole.

To demonstrate, on the whiteboard I draw a circle. Then, I like to tell the story of a birthday cake being shared with four friends. Of course, those friends are in our class! LOL! (If there is ever a trick for immediate engagement, it’s using names of students in your class!)

Then, I share that we must split the cake evenly among the four friends. So, I model partitioning the cake into four equal parts. Then, I shared that only three of the four friends ate their cake slices. So, I shade the slices the friends eat.

Then, I asked students to tell me how many cake slices were eaten. From there, I model how to show the fraction of the shaded part using the numerator and denominator with the fraction bar. We discuss how this shows that three of the four slices were eaten.

Then, I show the fraction for the part that wasn’t eaten: one-fourth.

From there, we do a few more examples on the whiteboard.

Then, for independent practice, I send students to complete a fraction “Read the Room” activity!

Fraction Practice Activities

From there, we play games, review, and practice naming and making fractions!

A class favorite is this “I Have, Who Has” game!

simple and easy fraction games for 2nd grade

Partitioning Rectangles

So, can we talk about partitioning rectangles? Like why is this taught as a separate skill? It goes perfectly with an earlier lesson on cutting shapes into equal pieces, but our standards AND our curriculum this year call out partitioning rectangles. I think it’s a precursor to the area, but then why isn’t it taught with measurement? Hmmm…

So, after some practice with fractions, we worked on partitioning rectangles. Food is always a win, so I like to bring Cheez-Its and use those to work to partition a rectangular sheet of paper on a desk. I made the rectangles ahead of time using the school’s guillotine cutter. Students got different-sized rectangles. We discuss how we can partition the shape using equal parts. Students shared their findings when partitioning. I.e., larger rectangles took more Cheez-Its. Some rectangles took the same amount of Cheez-Its even though they were not the same (Long and skinny versus short and thick.)

Then, we would pass our shapes to our table mates. A super simple way to practice partitioning shapes in a low stress-high engagement way!

For practice, we complete a cut-and-paste activity found in my Fractions Unit.

easy partitioning rectangles activity for fractions unit.

The main focus here is that students can recognize that the same number of squares can be used on different presentations of rectangles.

For center practice, I print out this fun game! To set up, I print out the task cards and pair it with the red and blue squares that come with our math series.

To complete, students use the squares to partition the shapes and record how many squares it took.


Fractions Unit Assessment

So our district requires we use the provided curriculum assessments and the district provided assessments, but what math unit is complete without a matching assessment?

This Fractions Unit includes an end of the unit assessment. Perfect to be used as a summative assessment!

Fraction Activities for 2nd Grade Fraction Unit

Like all the activities in this post? Want to bring fractions to life in your classroom while having everything you need done for you? Then, be sure to check out this best-selling Fractions Activities 2nd Grade unit!

It includes EVERYTHING you need to teach fractions in your 2nd-grade classroom!

Fraction Activities for 2nd Grade

So there’s how we worked through fractions in our 2nd grade classroom! From reviewing the key terms to learning more about fraction pieces and naming parts of a whole, these activities are sure to help you build a strong learning foundation in your 2nd grade classroom!

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Hi, I'm Leigh.

The Applicious Teacher is all about creating hands-on and engaging lessons that align with the standards while still having time for your life. This is your place for ideas, tips, and resources for the REAL teacher!


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